Bleed on the brain a ‘strange in­jury’ – McHugh

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - SPORTS - SEÁN MO­RAN in Philadel­phia

Done­gal foot­baller Ryan McHugh sus­tained a sus­pected bleed on his brain ear­lier this year in one of the in­ci­dents of con­cus­sion that led to his be­ing stood down for eight weeks at the start of the na­tional league and in late Septem­ber for the re­main­der of the year.

McHugh was speak­ing yea­ter­day dur­ing the GAA/GPA All Stars trip to Philadel­phia.

“I had two con­cus­sions,” he said. I had one at the start of the league this year and I took about eight weeks off; I had a slight bleed in my brain.

“It’s a strange in­jury,” said McHugh, “be­cause look­ing at some­body you don’t think there is any­thing wrong with them.

“It was tough. After the time you have slight headaches and you know there is some­thing wrong with your­self. After a week and a half you start to come round to your­self but the fear is if you pick up an­other one you can pick up se­ri­ous in­juries.


“I don’t know a lot about it, I was tak­ing the ad­vice of Dr Kevin Mo­ran and that’s it.”

Done­gal team doc­tor Mo­ran also hap­pens to be one of the GAA’s fore­most ex­perts on con­cus­sion and was one of the or­gan­is­ers of the first Na­tional Con­cus­sion Sym­po­sium in Croke Park in 2016.

McHugh sus­tained a fur­ther in­jury in a club chal­lenge for Kil­car against Dublin’s St Vin­cent’s in Septem­ber and was stood down for the re­main­der of the year. He found the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion much dif­fer­ent than that for other in­juries.

“It’s not like when you break a leg (and) you come back and try to build it up in the gym. It’s just rest re­ally – all you can do, stay away from com­put­ers and that sort of stuff. That was what I was ad­vised to do – dif­fi­cult in this day and age.”

He agreed that with con­cus­sion it is nec­es­sary at times to pro­tect play­ers from them­selves.

“I know the first time I had it, I ac­tu­ally didn’t get the symp­toms and stuff un­til about two weeks later. So it was strange, it ac­tu­ally hap­pened at train­ing one night, I just felt ill and dizzy and stuff. I went to Kevin and Kevin pulled me out straight away. If Kevin wasn’t there, I could have trained on. So def­i­nitely I think that the more ed­u­ca­tion peo­ple have the bet­ter.”

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